I think we are in the "helping" stage with Abigail. She has had the sign for "help please" for quite some time. And most of the time when she wanted help she would say it. However this sign has taken on a new meaning. It now means I would like to help you. She has become fixated on helping with whatever mama or papa are doing. I remember reading some time ago about how important chores are for children. They do not just teach them responsibility; they also let that child know that without her our family would not function as well. The table wouldn't get set, the napkins wouldn't get thrown away, and as she gets older things like, the trash wouldn't get taken out. All though these things would still be done, letting her know that our family works better because she is part of it is still a great thing to do. I am amazed at how true this is. Abigail is so excited when I ask her to help set and clear the table, and often times she asks to do it now before I even mention it. She loves throwing things away for me, handing me clothes to hang out on the line, carrying in the mail, and a million other things. I can see it on her face. She feels like she is part of the adult family action, and loves it. I know that some day she may not love her chores, or may complain. However she will still have them, because our lives and family would not be the same without her. Even if right now her help often means whatever I'm doing is going slower, it's worth watching her face beam with pride as she carries her plate and "poon" to the table. The video is our little one helping mama make banana nut bread last night.